Friday, October 07, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #38: Flying Hero (Famicom)


Game: Flying Hero
Genre: Arcade
Developer: Aicom
Publisher: Epic/Sony Records
System: Famicom
Release date: 1989

Before you ask: No, this isn't an 8-bit predecessor of the Super Famicom shoot 'em up (made by Sofel and released in 1992) with the same name. Instead, it's more akin to Arkanoid--although even that isn't the most apt or accurate of comparisons. Hopefully this brief description will help clarify things: You control a trio of firefighters who have been tasked with saving the inhabitants of several burning buildings. Two of said firemen hold a trampoline and, with your help, race back and forth along the base of each domicile while the third ricochets between the trampoline and that particular building's windows (some ablaze, some not), Breakout-style, in an attempt to rescue all remaining dwellers. Still confused? Check out this video. Anyway, it's all pretty fun--in a play-it-for-a-few-minutes-and-then-play-something-else-instead kind of way. It's also, well, pretty, if a bit archaic and simple. Each structure (a castle, a cemetery and, er, a space ship among them) is unique and well realized, for example, and each structure's inhabitants are rather charmingly crafted and animated. Speaking of the game's structures: Most of them are single-screen affairs, but a select few take up two screens. That's worth noting mainly because these "tall" stages kind of suck--especially when compared to their more traditionally sized counterparts--due to the fact that the transition between the screens is both janky and jarring. Even then, though, Flying Hero is an enjoyably eccentric addition to the Famicom catalog and is well worth picking up (or playing via emulation) if you're into old-school oddities.


See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

6 comments:

Bryan Ochalla said...

For another perspective on this quirky title, may I suggest heading over to the always interesting Unlimited Zig Works? http://www.unlimitedzigworks.com/1352/famicom-flying-hero.html

Sean said...

I love that game. I bought it a couple years ago without knowing anything about it because it was cheap and it looked like it might be good based on the cover. I was pleasantly surprised when I got it home.

I agree with your assessment too, its a fun enough game for a short play but not one that you would devote a lot of time to playing.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, I should have known you'd have this game, Sean! I'm glad you like it, too. It's definitely fun for those times when you're looking for something that will give you a short burst of enjoyment, isn't it?

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Anything featuring firefighters is gold in my book.

Bryan Ochalla said...

You should give it a try, Justin. I think you'd like it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

BTW, here are a few hints for folks who actually give this game a try after reading my little review:

1) If you want to clear a stage quickly, try to put out the window fires rather than rescue the people.

2) Avoid the weird staff-like thing (that falls from burning windows when touched by your bouncing fireman) unless you want to be whisked away to a difficult mini-game that takes place inside the building.

3) On the flip side, if something that looks like a walkie talkie falls from a burning window, grab it if at all possible. It'll call in a helicopter that will put out all of the fires and then take you away to a bonus round in the skies (where you'll likely gain lots of points and a number of extra lives, too).